Unplugged Vacations: Places To Digitally Detox, and Be Happy

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Unplugged Vacations: Places To Digitally Detox, and Be Happy

Derrick Jackson, an astute Boston Globe columnist, just wrote a piece bemoaning the inability of vacationing Americans to actually vacation, that is to take a holiday “unplugged”, “off the grid,” “digitally detoxed,” and smell the flowers. Or listen to the brook.

Or better still, actually have a conversation with your family .

It’s a real problem, with some studies showing 83% of us check in at least twice a day when we’re on vacation, never letting email or an application come between us and our time off.

While neuroscientists wonder if our constantly wired state is “ruining our brains for reading and reflection,” and government is getting involved by restricting texting and cell phone use, Forbes Traveler has gone a step further.

It’s created a fun list of “10 Unplugged Vacations” which include some creative ways to get us to detox digitally, and enjoy a holiday unattached to computers, smart phones, iPads or whatever digital umbilical cord we cling to

How about the Arawak Beach Inn in Anguilla? This collection of lovely pastel beach houses offers a cheap seven-night getaway package... for those willing to relinquish their Blackberries and laptops.

They're placed under lock and key upon arrival. The newly liberated guests then get a a car for three days to explore Anguilla, are booked on a private day-trip to an uninhabited island complete with a gourmet picnic lunch. And no Wi Fi. Or anything for that matter. Just themselves.

At Petit St. Vincent in the Grenadines. one of the world’s best hideaways, the only way to communicate with the staff is to hoist a flag: Yellow for service; Red for “Do Not Disturb.” But only the digitally addicted would want to be disturbed on the island’s eye-poppingly beautiful beaches.

Then there’s Fairmont Kenauk at Le Château Montebello, in Montebello, Canada. They mean it when they say, "the only blackberries you see here grow on bushes."

The accommodations are rustic, but first-class, and powered by propane, wood and solar systems.

Bill Nowell, the recreation manager, says that guests actually like being completely out of touch. He also says families enjoy not having electricity and television.

So what does the unplugged vacationer do?

Jackson says you get to talk to your kids. Bill Nowell says you get to play games and talk to your family.

How novel!

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Comment by Kaleel Sakakeeny on August 23, 2010 at 4:54pm
Good to hear from you, Amy. I do follow your notices about Hocking Hills, and hope some day to get there. Never been to Ohio even!
Yes, I think the problem lies in our inflated sense of importance. We really believe that unless we're in touch, communicating, connected, the world or our lives will somehow suffer.
Thanks for wring in. Appreciate it. take care
Comment by Amy Weirick on August 23, 2010 at 4:45pm
I wholly agree with you Kaleel! I'd love to see research on how many days/hrs it takes the average cyberczen to de-compress and stop fretting about being unplugged. It always takes me a 2-3 days to stop caring. I think it's so good for the soul, mind and relationships to stop for a little while. We rep a US destination (Hocking Hills in SE Ohio) where cell phones don't work. Bloggers/writers are always amazed and sort of stunned by it when they get there. (I give advance warning, but no one seems to believe that there's a place in the U.S. where cell phones don't work. :-) When my husband and I went the first time, he freaked out. Then we hung out, talked and even played Chinese checkers. So relaxing ... and so good for us!
Comment by Kaleel Sakakeeny on August 23, 2010 at 4:02pm
Oh, no! It's that thought pattern, that delusion, that keeps us/you trapped and tied to a way of life or point of view.
Look, nothing in cyberlization is as important as we think it is. As we have made it out to be.
Cyberlization will exist long after you and I are gone. Moments with people we love and care for won't be.
Thanks for your comments
Comment by Sam Scribe on August 23, 2010 at 3:56pm
When I was a boy, I used to wait until Sunday night to do all my homework, which cast a pall over the entire weekend. Finally, when I was a senior in high school, I decided that waiting until the last minute to do things I had to do was not making me happier. This comes to mind because of the unplugged vacation. It's a seductive idea, but if I were to do something like this today, I know I would pay for it when I returned to cyberlization.

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